CWE

Common Weakness Enumeration

A Community-Developed List of Software Weakness Types

CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors
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ID

CWE-103: Struts: Incomplete validate() Method Definition

Weakness ID: 103
Abstraction: Variant
Structure: Simple
Status: Draft
Presentation Filter:
+ Description
The application has a validator form that either does not define a validate() method, or defines a validate() method but does not call super.validate().
+ Extended Description
If you do not call super.validate(), the Validation Framework cannot check the contents of the form against a validation form. In other words, the validation framework will be disabled for the given form.
+ Relationships

The table(s) below shows the weaknesses and high level categories that are related to this weakness. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as PeerOf and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar weaknesses that the user may want to explore.

+ Relevant to the view "Research Concepts" (CWE-1000)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass573Improper Following of Specification by Caller
+ Relevant to the view "Development Concepts" (CWE-699)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass20Improper Input Validation
+ Relevant to the view "Seven Pernicious Kingdoms" (CWE-700)
NatureTypeIDName
ChildOfClassClass20Improper Input Validation
+ Modes Of Introduction

The different Modes of Introduction provide information about how and when this weakness may be introduced. The Phase identifies a point in the software life cycle at which introduction may occur, while the Note provides a typical scenario related to introduction during the given phase.

PhaseNote
Implementation
+ Applicable Platforms
The listings below show possible areas for which the given weakness could appear. These may be for specific named Languages, Operating Systems, Architectures, Paradigms, Technologies, or a class of such platforms. The platform is listed along with how frequently the given weakness appears for that instance.

Languages

Java: (Undetermined Prevalence)

+ Common Consequences

The table below specifies different individual consequences associated with the weakness. The Scope identifies the application security area that is violated, while the Impact describes the negative technical impact that arises if an adversary succeeds in exploiting this weakness. The Likelihood provides information about how likely the specific consequence is expected to be seen relative to the other consequences in the list. For example, there may be high likelihood that a weakness will be exploited to achieve a certain impact, but a low likelihood that it will be exploited to achieve a different impact.

ScopeImpactLikelihood
Other

Technical Impact: Other

Disabling the validation framework for a form exposes the application to numerous types of attacks. Unchecked input is the root cause of vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting, process control, and SQL injection.
Confidentiality
Integrity
Availability
Other

Technical Impact: Other

Although J2EE applications are not generally susceptible to memory corruption attacks, if a J2EE application interfaces with native code that does not perform array bounds checking, an attacker may be able to use an input validation mistake in the J2EE application to launch a buffer overflow attack.
+ Demonstrative Examples

Example 1

In the following Java example the class RegistrationForm is a Struts framework ActionForm Bean that will maintain user input data from a registration webpage for an online business site. The user will enter registration data and the RegistrationForm bean in the Struts framework will maintain the user data. Tthe RegistrationForm class implements the validate method to validate the user input entered into the form.

(bad)
Example Language: Java 
public class RegistrationForm extends org.apache.struts.validator.ValidatorForm {
// private variables for registration form
private String name;
private String email;
...

public RegistrationForm() {
super();

}

public ActionErrors validate(ActionMapping mapping, HttpServletRequest request) {
ActionErrors errors = new ActionErrors();
if (getName() == null || getName().length() < 1) {
errors.add("name", new ActionMessage("error.name.required"));

}
return errors;

}

// getter and setter methods for private variables
...

}

Although the validate method is implemented in this example the method does not call the validate method of the ValidatorForm parent class with a call super.validate(). Without the call to the parent validator class only the custom validation will be performed and the default validation will not be performed. The following example shows that the validate method of the ValidatorForm class is called within the implementation of the validate method.

(good)
Example Language: Java 
public class RegistrationForm extends org.apache.struts.validator.ValidatorForm {
// private variables for registration form
private String name;
private String email;
...

public RegistrationForm() {
super();

}

public ActionErrors validate(ActionMapping mapping, HttpServletRequest request) {
ActionErrors errors = super.validate(mapping, request);
if (errors == null) {
errors = new ActionErrors();

}


if (getName() == null || getName().length() < 1) {
errors.add("name", new ActionMessage("error.name.required"));

}
return errors;

}
// getter and setter methods for private variables
...

}
+ Potential Mitigations

Phase: Implementation

Implement the validate() method and call super.validate() within that method.
+ Weakness Ordinalities
OrdinalityDescription
Primary
(where the weakness exists independent of other weaknesses)
+ Memberships
This MemberOf Relationships table shows additional CWE Categories and Views that reference this weakness as a member. This information is often useful in understanding where a weakness fits within the context of external information sources.
+ Notes

Maintenance

The current description implies a loose composite of two separate weaknesses, so this node might need to be split or converted into a low-level category.

Relationship

This could introduce other weaknesses related to missing input validation.
+ Taxonomy Mappings
Mapped Taxonomy NameNode IDFitMapped Node Name
7 Pernicious KingdomsStruts: Erroneous validate() Method
Software Fault PatternsSFP24Tainted input to command
+ Content History
Submissions
Submission DateSubmitterOrganizationSource
7 Pernicious Kingdoms
Modifications
Modification DateModifierOrganizationSource
2008-07-01Eric DalciCigital
updated Potential_Mitigations, Time_of_Introduction
2008-09-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Other_Notes, Taxonomy_Mappings, Weakness_Ordinalities
2008-10-14CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description, Maintenance_Notes
2008-11-24CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Background_Details, Common_Consequences, Description, Other_Notes, Relationship_Notes
2009-03-10CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2009-12-28CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences, Other_Notes
2010-06-21CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Demonstrative_Examples
2010-12-13CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Description
2011-06-01CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Common_Consequences
2012-05-11CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships
2012-10-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Potential_Mitigations
2014-07-30CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Relationships, Taxonomy_Mappings
2017-11-08CWE Content TeamMITRE
updated Causal_Nature, Relationships

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Page Last Updated: November 14, 2017